The mine is expected to reach its design capacity of four million tons of ore each year in 2019.

Diamond mining in the second half of 2014 at Udachny will support the ore body development.

Open-pit mining is expected to be completed in 2015 following which commercial production will with plans to reach 2.4 to 3 million tons of ore per year by 2016, the company said.

ALROSA CEO Fedor Andreev said: "An ambitious program for the construction of underground mines is an integral part of ALROSA’s development strategy aiming to keep its world’s leading position in terms of rough diamond mining and ensure the diamond mining growth up to over 40 million carats."

"Launch of the Udachny underground mine will allow the Company to maintain stable volumes of diamond production in Western Yakutia for many years," Andreev said.

Once the design capacity is reached, the underground mine will be produce more than five million carats of diamonds per year.